David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

St George to be made safer with major funding boost

May 9, 2022

The St George Aboriginal Housing Company has been awarded $583,495 in funding under round six of the highly successful Safer Communities Fund, to improve community safety and help divert local at-risk youth from a life of crime.

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said that the Liberal National Government is delivering a $50 million funding boost to 75 practical community-led projects across Australia, to support their work with high-risk young people, to break the cycle of repeat offending.

“All local residents deserve to feel safe and all of our local young people should have the chance to achieve their full potential,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The St George Aboriginal Housing Company will use the funding to employ a dedicated Youth & Cultural Engagement Officer, to facilitate personal development activities and coordinate resources to support at-risk youth.

“The Balonne community are finding high rates of developmentally vulnerable children and lack of education is leading to increased crime and anti-social behaviour amongst youths – from 2019 to 2021, 1083 criminal offences were committed by individuals aged 10 to 24 in the Balonne Shire.

“This project is about providing youths with the right education and resources to deter them from future involvement in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour. It’s about expanding current early intervention activities with school educational programs, career fairs and workshops, and development of a Youth Strategy.”

Mr Littleproud said the Liberal National Government was backing community-led solutions to crime – to ensure all residents can go about their daily lives free from violence, harassment and anti-social behaviour.

“We know that some young people engage in activities or have negative experiences that leave them at risk of joining gangs, committing serious crimes and disengaging from the wider community,” he said.

“The challenges we’ve faced over the last two years because of the pandemic have only added to the sense of social isolation and disconnection that some young people feel.

“This program ensures young people can get the support and assistance they need. I thank and congratulate the St George Aboriginal Housing Company for their ongoing work, which we are proud to support. It’s all about creating a stronger, safer community.”

The additional program funding was in response to overwhelming demand and will support organisations with demonstrated experience in helping marginalised youth, to build resilience, strengthen community connections and job readiness skills.

The Safer Communities Fund has invested more than $265 million and provided over 720 grants directly to local communities to deliver grass roots crime prevention initiatives since 2016.